Yesterday, all day long the rain fell
Like torrents of shredded marigold
Fall at small clay feet at the temple.
A little irreverent though, and a little cold.
Tapping out on the terrace, against mossy
Tiles crusted with years’ worth of heedless steps
Washing them in brisk movements and making them glossy.
The coming of winter, the passing of neglect.
I could hear it as I moved about the morningDotted with meaningless tasks, the sweep
Of dust from this corner to that, turning
Sleeves inside or outside of themselves, deep
In the maze of my ears, and over the corridors of thought
Broken into pieces by the sound of its whisper.
Even though most of it couldn’t be caught.
The voice of terraces overridden by the voice of the rainy winter.
I had heard it before, a bit of marigold rainFalling untimely, tumbling with the yellowed, dry
Leaves, beyond the strict borders of the monsoons, a vein
Of lightning throbbing at the forehead of the sky
Many times, falling gentle like a temple offering
By truant schoolboys, a little cheeky yet a little afraid
Focussed obeisance for the terrible upcoming
Exams and beyond that all marigolds instantly mislaid.
But yesterday it spoke low and long of different thingsAs I moved particles around, dust from the floor
Into the hoover, from the bookcase to the duster so onto the bins
I knew I hadn’t heard the same whispers before.
I heard them only indistinctly, that chill, that irreverence
And all the spines stacked between my ribs and all the dust
Moved around uneasily like those boys in a short-lived obeisance
On the floor tiles of my terraces, scared but focussed.